Here is the latest news from The Associated Press at 11:40 p.m. EDT



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GEYSERVILLE, Calif. (AP) — Authorities say a wind-whipped fire in Northern California's wine country has burned 49 buildings and prompted evacuation orders for 2,000 people. The fire that began Wednesday night near Geyserville had grown Thursday night to 25 square miles. The cause is under investigation but Pacific Gas & Electric says it had a transmission line problem in the area minutes before the fire was reported.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department has shifted its review of the Russia investigation to a formal criminal inquiry. That's according to a person familiar with the investigation who spoke to The Associated Press on Thursday. The person wasn't authorized to discuss the ongoing matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. The move is likely to raise alarm among Democrats that the Trump administration may be trying to use the government to investigate the president's political opponents.

WASHINGTON (AP) — As a near-daily drip of derogatory evidence emerges from closed-door testimony in the impeachment inquiry, President Donald Trump is facing the limits of his defense strategy. The White House assertion that the proceedings are unfair is proving to be a less-than-compelling counter to the mounting threat to Trump's presidency. Press secretary Stephanie Grisham acknowledged that "it's hard to message anything that's going on behind closed doors and in secret."

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union says US immigration authorities separated more than 1,500 children from their parents at the Mexico border early in the Trump administration, bringing the total number of children separated since July 2017 to more than 5,400. The ACLU said Thursday the government told its attorneys that 207 of the children separated between July 1, 2017, and June 26, 2018, were under 5. A judge gave the government until Friday to identify children separated since July 2017.

LONDON (AP) — The Chinese Embassy in London says the nationalities of the 39 people found dead in a container truck in England have not been confirmed. That appears to contradict a police statement that they were Chinese. The embassy said police are verifying the identity of the victims and their nationality still cannot be confirmed. The bodies were found in a truck near a port in southeastern England.

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The Associated Press

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